What a wonderful conference and one of the best parts was that we were all able to be face-to face with our lovely colleagues. The 2022 TexasBarCLE Collaborative Law: From Bush League to Big League conference was filled with exceptional presentations, fun activities, and gifted professionals.

3 gals in a car

While driving back to Austin, the three of us thought it would be insightful to discuss the key takeaways we each had. It turned into an idea for a blog, which we hope will illicit many practitioners to chime in with their own main takeaway.

Lisa, a mental health professional who has worked for four-years in the collaborative field, came away with the realization that she is qualified and able to work as a child specialist. In Austin we have not used this team member the way other areas have, and it is a position that we believe genuinely assists families. Lisa has been on a team with a child specialist and learned a lot from the case and her peers. We have a need for this expert and, Lisa intends to expand her practice to offer both services as a process facilitator as well as to work to be an excellent child specialist in our area.

Kris, a lawyer who we all know and love, really liked the idea that one of the two neutral professionals send the agendas and minutes to our clients. It makes such great sense given that the non-represented client might feel surprised or possibly even shaken by receiving an email from the soon-to-be ex-spouse’s attorney. It seems like a more compassionate and efficient way to distribute neutral documents and will likely help with the follow-up because the team will work together to make sure the information is distributed in a neutral, timely manner. Last, asking the neutral professionals to send agendas and minutes helps to neutralize the perception that one lawyer “is doing all the work.”

Tasha, a financial professional who began working with collaborative cases in 2018 and has worked with 30 cases without being guided or mentored by a financial professional, has already reached out to an all-star to discuss working with him as a mentor. We all have so much to learn from and to offer to each other. She was thrilled to find such a well-respected financial neutral who was willing to help her navigate the unknowns, un-learn less than desirable practices that she taught herself and ask questions when she encounters new situations. Tasha is happy to do the same for others. Feel free to reach out. 

We left the conference feeling rejuvenated and excited to expand our practices while always doing our best to be exceptional teammates and advisors. Thank you to all of the organizers and sponsors who helped us gather and learn in Dallas.

Advisory services offered through Per Stirling Capital Management, LLC. This material is provided for informational purposes only. Individual advice should be provided by the appropriate tax, legal, financial or accounting professional. 

This article was written by three gals in a car and are as follows:

Kris Algert is Board Certified in Family Law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has achieved Master Credentialed Collaborative Professional status. Kris is a strong advocate of Collaborative Divorce for its ability to offer practical solutions, reduced conflict, and a respectful approach to solving family law issues. 

Lisa Blackwood MS MA LPC-S, LCDC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor, who counsels adults, adolescents, and children. Lisa assists families dealing with separation, divorce, and co-parenting. She facilitates collaborative Teams as a neutral mental health professional and as a child specialist focusing on parenting and communication in two homes.

Tasha Rock, CFP®, CDFA® is a financial professional who works with Collaborative teams as a financial neutral (dual advocate) to facilitate and educate in an effort to assist clients in divorcing with respect for their family and as a result, achieving peace-of-mind and financial stability in their new lives.

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